#1
What's up guys, new here.. just a quick little intro.. I have been playing for MAYBE upto 1 year ( I say this simply because it was pretty frustrating starting out, however, with some progress I'v started to play a lot more. )

Ok, so im gonna smack you guys w/ a wall of txt.. see if anyone answers/replies.. basically, I have always enjoyed music ( multiple genres, however my favorite is metal/melodic metal <3 Finland ) and I picked up a guitar after a friend told me it would be fine and it's not too late.. Im 22 at the moment.. I wish I picked it up earlier.. but I don't regret picking the instrument up.

This may seem bizarre but WTF? It seems like everyone and their mother is an amazing guitarist ( youtube makes me wants to kill myself ).. I practice scales and some songs here and there, but

1) what do you guys recommend I do to get better on a more rapid pace? just scales?
2) is there eventually a wall for every person? or can we keep progressing?
3)At the moment I "practice", but more like try to play the beginning of...

Children of Bodom - Silent Night, Bodom night ( getting better :O )
Metallica - Master of Puppets ( can get pretty annoying, I don't know why )
Kalmah - Heroes to Us

Yes, they are very difficult songs, I understand, I just try to enjoy myself for a bit - but I do practice scales .. mostly Pentatonic Scales and other easy songs/repeating songs such as the main riff for Godsmack - keep away and Come as you are.

It's just really mind boggling how I see some of these kids on youtube pick up the guitar and say " I'v been playing for 2 years" and play complete songs/solos by my favorite bands.. ( CoB, etc )

Also, everything is self taught, should I get a teacher?.. I am really motivated and want to go about things the right way.. any help/comments or whatever is really appreciated.

Ne0869 is my AIM! Usually always on, if you want to chat, or whatever.
#2
Hey, I've been teaching myself since I was twelve. I'm fifteen now and you look like you're already better than I am. But I might be able to suggest some things for you anyway. First off, the "Ultimate Guide to Guitar" articles that are being written at the moment by a guy called ZeGuitarist - you should check them out - although still on the basics they are very thorough, even if you're passed them. There should be link to them on the main page of UG in the "Guest Columns" box.

Second, try and learn some songs that are sort of challenging but sound harder than they actually are. Like The Black Keys for example - try Set You Free, Hard Row or Midnight In Her Eyes - although definitely not your style of music that's what got me going. I got a lot better than I was when I began teaching myself those.

I haven't got an actual practicing schedule or something like a lot of guitarists do, so I can't really comment on whether that's good or just a hassle. I mainly play guitar for fun or stress relief (and for being in a band).

Try figuring out some solos. Again, it depends how good you are - I still can't do the Stairway To Heaven solo, yet everybody else finds it easy. Try "Tomorrow" by Silverchair - that's got a good solo that isn't too hard. When learning harder solos, open Windows Media Player and play the song at 0.5 x speed, so once you learn where to put your fingers and stuff you can play it better.

Another thing with solos - improvise - make some solos. Like record something easy, like a chord progression (eg. A, D, E or A, G, F) in the background and then solo over the top. Or, like me, if you're not that good, then you can record yourself making guitar noises and like sort of humming a guitar solo, and then learn how to play that.

But yeah, if you want to get lessons, get them from a good teacher. But if you don't want to get lessons, it's not that bad. Some of the best guitarists in the world are self-taught. Oh yeah, and I know what you mean about everybody playing guitar - sort of ticks me off how I saw this kid play the Stairway to Heaven solo like perfectly and I've been trying to learn it for three years.
#3
yeah, it's pretty nuts dude.. I just don't get it.. I mean, I know I can be pretty good one day.. there has to be a method/path to getting THAT good.. I look @ some of the solos.. and ironically I was reading the post under me, looks like they are in the same boat.

They posted kissing the shadows ( I believe by CoB ) and, yes, I have gotten better/more accurate.. but the playing on that really scares the hell out of me haha.. your young though! Thats awesome, within a couple of years you'll be rocken ( hopefully so will I ) but if anyone else has any suggestions let me know! I did start on scales, etc.. and how many hours a day do most people play, anyway? I find I do around 1-4 hours a day now.
#4
sometimes when im bummed about not being good, the absolute only thing that keeps me motivated is having good friends that are guitarists of various skill levels.
find some people around where you live and just become aquainted. I've never met someone who's way better than me (most ppl) that didnt want to teach me a thing or two.
#5
1 - don't get hung up on how long it takes, it's not a race.

2 - don't get fooled into believing that faster somehow equates to "better". It doesn't, either when you're referring to how fast someone can play or how fast they learn.

3 - don't get too hung up on scales, practicing scales ultimately just makes you good at playing scales, not music. If you want to get better at a song then practice the song, if you want to play exercise then choose exercises that have some practical benefit - straight scale runs are pretty much a dead end, however...

4 - ...endlessly trying to play something that's obviously a stretch too dificult will NOT make you an better. It's the opposite, your progress is likely to stall as you waste time futily trying do do something you can't. Whatever it is just shelve it, learn stuff that's easier and go back to it in a few months, because...

5 - ...you don't have to be constantly learning "harder" things to get better. Every new song you learn on guitar, no matter how simple you think it is, has something to teach you and will help you develop. The best guitarists in the world aren't the best because they rushed through trying to learn everything at once. They're the best because they lavish as much care and attention on the simple things as well as the showboat stuff.

6 - forget about speed as an immediate goal because it doesn't exist. When you practice you can only practice those things you have direct control over. Speed is a symptom, not a cause - it's a refelection of other, more tangible skills. If you play accurately, in time, with your hands synchronised, with good fretboard knowledge, good ears and with fingers that are nimble and strong enough to do whatever it is you want then you will be able to play fast. If any of those things is lacking then it'll slow you down, and you need to be able to identify what's holding you back. Once you do that it's easy to work on things that will help you improve that shortcoming. Invariably a big part of it usually turns out to be accuracy and timing, and the only solution is to pull out the metronome and slow things right down. You have to be great at playing slow before you'v eeven got a chance of being shit playing fast, let alone mediocre and ultimately good.
Actually called Mark!

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